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Guide and features
Guide and features
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
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Featured UK Key Stages 3 & 4; US Grade 5-10
Featured UK Key Stage 4 & 5; US Grade 11 & 12
Big and Small Numbers in Biology
this problem ?
Practice with the use of numbers is a crucial biological skill. These interesting
will allow you to practice these skills whilst developing awareness of orders of magnitude in scientific contexts.
There are several parts to this question. The individual pieces could be used as starters or filler activities for students who finish classwork early. Enthusiastic students might work through them in their own time. Since there is no absolutely 'correct' answer to many of these questions, they might productively be used for discussion: students create their own answers and then explain them to the rest of the class. Does the class agree? Disagree? Is there an obvious best 'collective' answer?
What assumptions will you need to make in this question?
How accurate do you think you answer is?
What order of magnitude checks could you make to test that your answer is sensible?
Can students make up similar questions? Can they put any upper or lower bounds on the numbers?
Students might struggle with the 'open' nature of the questions. To begin, they might like to read the
Student Guide to Getting Started with rich tasks
Estimating and approximating
Number - generally
STEM - physical world
Maths Supporting SET
Trigonometric functions and graphs
STEM - living world
Meet the team
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. More information on many of our other activities can be found here.
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NRICH is part of the family of activities in the
Millennium Mathematics Project